Front Page Titles (by Subject) A COMMENTARY AND REVIEW OF THE SPIRIT OF LAWS: Preliminary Observations - A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu's 'Spirit of Laws'
A COMMENTARY AND REVIEW OF THE SPIRIT OF LAWS: Preliminary Observations - Antoine Louis Claude, Comte Destutt de Tracy, A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s ’Spirit of Laws’ 
A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s ’Spirit of Laws’: To which are annexed, Observations on the Thirty First Book by the late M. Condorcet; and Two Letters of Helvetius, on the Merits of the same Work, trans. Thomas Jefferson (Philadelphia: William Duane, 1811).
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- The Author,: to His Fellow Citizens of the United States of America.
- A Commentary and Review of the Spirit of Laws: Preliminary Observations
- Book I: Of Laws In General
- Book II: Of Laws Originating Directly From the Nature of the Government.
- Book III: Of the Principles of the Three Forms of Government.
- Book IV: The Laws Relating to Education, Should Be Congenial With the Principles of the Government.
- Book V: Laws Formed By the Legislature Should Be Consistent With the Principles of the Government.
- Book VI: Consequences of the Principles of Different Governments, In Relation to the Simplicity of Civil and Criminal Laws, the Forms of Juridical Proceedings, and the Apportionment of Punishments.
- Book VII: Consequences of the Different Principles of the Three Forms of Government, Relative to Sumptuary Laws, to Luxury, and to the Condition of Women.
- Book VIII: Of the Corruption of the Principle In Each of the Three Forms of Government.
- Book IX: Of Laws Relative to the Defensive Force.
- Book X: Of Laws Relative to the Offensive Force.
- Book XI: Of the Laws Which Establish Public Liberty, In Relation to the Constitution.
- Book XII: Of Laws That Establish Political Liberty In Relation to the Citizen.
- A Review.: On the Twelve First Books of the Spirit of Laws.
- Book XIII: Of the Relation Which Taxes, and the Amount of the Public Revenue, Have to Public Liberty.
- Book XIV: Of Laws In Relation to Climate.
- Book Xv the Manner In Which the Laws of Civil Slavery Relate to the Climate.
- Book Xvi How the Laws of Domestic Slavery Relate to the Climate.
- Book Xvii How the Laws of Political Servitude Relate to the Climate.
- Book XVIII: Of Laws In Relation to the Nature of the Soil.
- Book XIX: Of Laws In Relation to the Principles Which Form the General Dispositions, Morals, and Manners of a Nation.
- Book XX: Of Laws In Relation to Commerce, Considered In Its Nature and Different Forms.
- Book Xxi of Laws In Relation to Commerce, Considered With Reference to the Revolutions It Has Undergone.
- Book XXII: Of Laws In Relation to the Use of Money.
- Book XXIII: Of Laws In Relation to Population
- Book XXIV: Of Laws In Relation to a Religious Establishment, Its Practical Operation, and Doctrines.
- Book Xxv of Laws In Relation to a Religions Establishment, and Its Effects On External Policy.
- Book XXVI: Of Laws In Relation to the Nature of Things Upon Which They Decide.
- Book XXVII: Of the Origin and Revolutions of the Roman Laws On Succession.
- Book Xxviii of the Origin and Revolutions of Civil Law Among the Franks.
- Book XXIX: Of the Manner In Which Laws Should Be Composed.
- Book XXX: Theory of the Feudal Laws Among the Franks, Relative to the Establishment of Monarchy.
- Book Xxxi Theory of Feudal Laws, Relative to the Revolutions of Monarchy.
- Observations On the Twenty-ninth Book of the Spirit of Laws, By M. Condorcet By M Condorcet
- Book XXIX.: On the Manner of Forming Laws.
- Chap. I…. of the Spirit of the Legislator.
- Chap. Ii…. Continuation of the Same Subject.
- Chap. Iii…. That Laws Which Appear to Deviate From the Intentions of the Legislator, Are Often Conformable Thereto.
- Chap. Iv…. of Laws Which Clash With the Views of the Legislator.
- Chap. V…. Continuation of the Sane Subject.
- Chap. Vi…. Laws Which Appear to Be the Same Have Not Uniformly the Same Effect.
- Chap. Vii…. Continuation of the Same Subject. the Necessity of Composing Laws In a Proper Manner.
- Chap. Viii…. Laws Which Appear the Same Have Not Always Been Established On the Same Motives.
- Chap. Ix…. the Greek and Roman Laws Punished Suicide From Different Motives.
- Chap. X…. Laws Which Appear Contradictory, Sometimes Originate In the Same Spirit.
- Chap. Xi…. How Shall We Be Able to Compare and Judge Between Two Laws.
- Chap. Xii…. Laws Which Appear the Same, Are Sometimes Really Different.
- Chap. Xiii…. We Should Not Separate the Laws From the Purposes For Which They Were Established: of the Roman Laws Against Theft.
- Chap. Xiv…. Laws Should Not Be Separated From the Circumstances In Which They Were Established.
- Chap. Xv…. It Is Sometimes Proper That the Law Shall Correct Itself.
- Chap. Xvi…. Matters to Be Observed In Composing Laws.
- Chap. Xvii…. Bad Manner of Enacting Laws.
- Chap. Xviii…. of Ideas of Uniformity.
- Chap. Xix…. of Legislators.
- Letters of Helvetius, Addressed to President Montesquieu and M. Saurin, On Perusing the Manuscript of the Spirit of Laws
- Letter I.: Letter of Helvetius to President Montesquieu
- Letter II.: Helvetius to A. M. Saurin.
A COMMENTARY AND REVIEW
THE SPIRIT OF LAWS
My object in undertaking this work, was to examine and reflect on each of the great objects which had been discussed by Montesquieu; to form my own opinions, to commit them to writing, and in short, to accomplish a clear and settled judgment upon them. It was not very long before I perceived, that a collection of these opinions would form a complete treatise on politics or the social science, which would be of some value, if the principles were all just and well digested. After having scrutinized them with all the care that I was capable of, and reconsidered them well, I resolved to arrange the whole in another manner, so as to form a didactic work, in which the various subjects should be disposed in their natural order, consistent with their mutual dependence on each other, and without any regard to the order pursued by Montesquieu; which in my opinion is not in every respect the best: but I soon perceived, that if he had been mistaken in the choice of his order of discussion, I might be much more likely to deceive myself in attempting a new one, notwithstanding the vast accumulation of light, during the fifty prodigious years which have intervened between the period when he gave his labors to his contemporaries, and this at which I now present the result of my studies to mine. It was plain too, that in proportion as the order which I should have preferred differed from that of Montesquieu, the more difficult it would have been for me to discuss his opinions and establish my own; our paths must cross each other continually; I should have been forced into a multitude of repetitions, in order to render to him that justice which properly belongs to him; and I should then find myself reduced to the unpleasant necessity of appearing in opposition to him, without my motives being clearly perceived. Under such circumstances, it is questionable whether my ideas would ever have had the advantage of a sufficient examination: these considerations determined me to prefer the form I have adopted of a commentary and review of Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws.
Some future writer, if my effort be fortunate, may profit by the discussion, in giving a more perfect treatise on the true principles of laws: it is by such a course, I think all the sciences ought to proceed; each work commencing with the soundest opinions already received, and progressively receiving the new lights shed upon them by experience and investigation. This would be truly following the precept of Condillac.... proceeding rigorously from the known to the unknown. I have no other ambition, nor does my situation admit of more, than to contribute my effort to the progress of social science, the most important of all to the happiness of man, and that which must necessarily be the last to reach perfection, because it is the product and the result of all the other sciences.